I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. – Song of Songs 2:1
What is the use of roses and lilies? I know what the use of corn is; I must eat it, it is necessary to me for food. I know why barley and rye and all sorts of roots and fruits are created; they are the necessary food of man or beast. But what do we want with roses? What do we want with lilies? They are of no use at all except for joy and delight. With their sweet form, their charming color, and their delicious fragrance, we are comforted and pleased and delighted; but they are not necessaries of life. A man can live without roses; there are millions of people, I have no doubt, who live without possessing lilies of the valley. There are all too few roses and lilies in this smoky Babylon of ours; but, when we do get them, what are their uses? Why, they are things of beauty, if not “a joy for ever.” Jesus is all that and more; He is far more than “a thing of beauty,” and to all who trust Him He will be “a joy for ever.” To you who are Christ’s people, He is your bread, for you feed on Him, and He makes you live; you could not do without Him as the sustenance of your soul. He is the living water, and your soul would pine and perish of a burning thirst if you did not drink of Him. But that is not all that Jesus is to you; God has never intended to save His people on the scale of the workhouse, to give you just as much as you absolutely need, and nothing more. No, no, no; He means you to have joy as well as to have life, to look upon beauty as well as to be in safety, and to have not only a healthy atmosphere, but an atmosphere that is laden with the odour of sweet flowers. You are to find in Christ roses and lilies, as well as bread and water; you have not yet seen all His beauties, and you do not yet know all His excellence.
The exceeding delightfulness of Christ is suggested to our mind by His declaration, “I am the rose, and I am the lily.” And He is in Himself the delight of men. He speaks not of offices, gifts, works, possessions; but of Himself: “I am.” Our Lord Jesus is the best of all beings; the dearest, sweetest, fairest, and most charming of all beings that we can think of is the Son of God, our Savior. Come hither, ye poets who dream of beauty, and then try to sing its praises; but your imagination could never reach up to the matchless perfection of His person, neither could your sweetest music ever attain to the full measure of His praise. ~ C.H. Spurgeon